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Seoul: Won slips amid North Korea worries, stocks at 2-year high

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The South Korean won slipped early on Tuesday morning as worries over North Korea grew among investors after US President Donald Trump said the UN Security Council should be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea.

[SEOUL] The South Korean won slipped early on Tuesday morning as worries over North Korea grew among investors after US President Donald Trump said the UN Security Council should be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea.

Top Trump administration officials will also hold a meeting at the White House on the situation in Pyongyang.

The won stood at 1,132.3 against the US dollar as of 0231 GMT, down 0.2 per cent compared with Monday's close of 1,129.9.

"High tensions between the Trump administration and the North are pushing the greenback up amid slight dollar strength in the global market," said Jeong My-young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

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"But further drops are unlikely unless there is an additional provocation from North Korea today," said Mr Jeong.

Mr Jeong added that investors were also keeping an eye on dividend-related flows.

Meanwhile, South Korean shares rose to a 2-year high as foreign investors snapped up stocks on robust earnings hopes.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.4 per cent at 2,183.38 points after touching its highest level since April 24 of 2015.

Offshore investors purchased a net 217.4 billion won (S$267.6 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, supporting the index.

Chipmaker SK Hynix shares weakened despite its record-high quarterly income as investors took profits. The company said its first-quarter operating profit more than quadrupled from a year earlier on strong demand for memory chips.

Shares of Amorepacific dropped more than 4 per cent on its weaker-than-expected March-quarter earnings.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 458 to 313.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 109.39.

REUTERS

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